Plastchim-T more than doubles BOPP output

(Plastics Today) -- Bulgaria's leading oriented polypropylene film converter, Plastchim-T, has more than doubled its output and added to its value proposition with the installation and recent start-up of its second BOPP film line. Plastchim-T (Aksakovo) added a 6.6m-wide line from Bruckner (Siegsdorf, Germany) to the 4.2m line from the company that it has been running since 2004.

Output from the new line is more than 400m of bioriented PP (BOPP) film per minute, for an annual output of about 18,000 tons. The line includes a twin-screw extrusion system and direct drives as well as Bruckner's patented LIWEB linear-motor edge guide system, said to help ensure higher line uptime, and the LIWIND-system for high-speed film winding.

According to Bruckner, the new BOPP line is the most energy efficient one in Europe. On its 4.2m-wide line, Plastchim-T is processing plain, coex, and metalizable film. The new line gives it the ability to also convert white opaque and pearlized films.


Quatar Petrochemicals reports about Q1 2010

(OfficialWire) -- The Qatari petrochemicals industry continues its inexorable rise to becoming a major supplier to the world market. But BMI's latest Qatar Petrochemicals Report warns that the global economic downturn has delayed some major projects by up to two years.

Qatar's policy of economic diversification has led to a surge in investment in projects for the export of petrochemicals. In 2009, Qatar had ethylene capacity of 2.6mn tonnes per annum (tpa) feeding downstream units that included 400,000tpa low-density polyethylene (LDPE) and 450,000tpa high density polyethylene (HDPE). By 2015, it should have ramped up capacities with olefins capacities including 6.25mn tpa ethylene and 900,000tpa propylene, feeding downstream units providing 1.6mn of polyethylene (PE) capacity, 700,000tpa of polypropylene (PP) and 220,000tpa of polystyrene (PS). Qatar will represent 30% of the increase in the GCC's total cracker capacity between 2009 and 2015.

Notably, Qatar Petroleum's subsidiary Qatar Intermediate Industries Holdings and South Korea's Honam Petrochemical announced that their 70:30 US$2.6bn petrochemical joint venture (JV) planned for Mesaieed would be delayed from its original date of 2011 to 2013, leaving many wondering whether it would ever be built. In July 2009, the partners indicated that they would not only revive the project but also enlarge it, adding a 700,000tpa EG plant and increasing the capacity of the mixed xylenes unit from the original 120,000tpa to 600,000tpa. Planned ethylene capacity was also raised from the original 900,000tpa to 1.05mn tpa. Other capacities will follow the original plan, including 700,000tpa PP, 600,000tpa styrene and 220,000tpa PS. BMI forecasts that the QP-Honam JV will probably come onstream in 2014.

Qatar remains in second place in the petrochemicals rankings for Middle East and Africa with 62.7 points, down 1.5 points since the previous quarter due to delays in capacity expansion. This puts it 4.1 points ahead of Kuwait and 11.6 points behind Saudi Arabia.


Oman Polypropylene restarts 340,000 tpa Sohar plant

April 14 (plastemart) -- Oman Polypropylene has restarted its 340,000 tpa polypropylene plant at Sohar. The plant was under a long maintenance shutdown for a period of about two months, resulting from a shutdown of a 116,000 bpd oil refinery operated by the Oman Refineries and Petrochemicals Co (ORPC) which resumed operations early last week.


The closest prospects of Russian PP market

Moscow (MRC) - PP has gone up over 40 % in price since the beginning of year. Raffia prices increased to RUB 54.000 - 56.000/mt and confidently move to the level of RUB 58.000 - 60.000/mt - according to MRC Price Report.

Price increase was caused by high demand in conditions of lowered load of single facilities and by export programs the first two months. From March exports were seriously cut down and production increased. In April Russian producers minimized exports.

In spite of it, insufficient PP supply caused by demand increase and upcoming May suspensions of Kapotnia and Ufa capacities is still being felt. Lack of raffia is being partly compensated by PP supplies from Turkmenia. The situation with moulded PP is worse. Prices have reached the level of RUB 56.000 - 59.500/mt, including VAT, FCA. The alternative of Russian PP from Europe or Asia will cost from RUB 62.000/mt, including VAT, CPT.

PP deficit in European market has led to significant price increase in April. European producers have raised April PP prices on EUR 100-120/mt comparing with March, PP-homo prices to supply into Russia have reached the level of EUR 1.160 - 1.200/mt, FCA. Some producers have almost completely cut down their export programs due to long-term shutdowns. Export price increase is expected no earlier than the end of May. Asian PP also is expensive enough for Russian converters. April PP-homo pricesare in the range of USD 1.400-1.550/mt, CFR Saint-Petersburg, with the condition that the material will arrive in May only.


More information about Russian PP market can be found in our Price Reports.

CB&I Completes Construction of Shell Ethylene Cracker Complex in Singapore

April 14 (yarnsandfibers) -- CB&I announced that the ethylene cracker project in Singapore has been successfully started up, producing on-specification ethylene and propylene. The cracker complex is owned and operated by Shell Eastern Petroleum Ltd and is an integral component of the Shell Eastern Petrochemicals Complex project in Singapore, which comprises modifications to the existing Bukom Refinery as well as the building of a new world scale mono-ethylene glycol (MEG) plant on Jurong island.

The 800,000 tonnes per annum (tpa) cracker increases Singapore's ethylene capacity by 40 percent while also producing 450,000 tpa of propylene, 230,000 tpa of benzene and 155,000 tpa of butadiene. The ethylene cracker uses Lummus Technology proprietary ethylene cracking technology, and the butadiene extraction unit uses proprietary technology from BASF/Lummus Technology.

CB&I, in a joint venture with Toyo Engineering Corporation, completed the engineering, procurement and construction of the cracker complex. During the course of this project, employees achieved over 39 million work-hours without a lost-time incident, a world-class safety achievement. More than 12,000 workers were employed at the peak of construction, and a ferry line was commissioned to provide transport each day from mainland Singapore to the complex on Bukom Island, approximately eight kilometers away.